How and When to Give Children Pocket Money?
المنتدى الإسلامي العالمي للتربية

How and When to Give Children Pocket Money?

 

Question:

I did not use to give my little child pocket money during kindergarten years. Now, my child is six years old and is about go to school for the first time this year. Since we are on the verge of the new school year, shall I start giving my child pocket money this year?

Answer:

For decades, pocket money has been a rooted family habit all over the world. Parents routinely give their children pocket money, without realizing that such act can contribute to shaping the child's personality in one way or another.

Psychologists stress that it is necessary to respect your child as well as his needs from his early to educate him to respect himself when he / she grows up, and thus respect others as well as their needs. This comes through training the child to be a responsible person when he is spending his own pocket money. Some consider that giving the child pocket money is an extremely important habit in children's lives, as it greatly contributes to their social and behavioral development.

The initial form of the child’s pocket money is the various foods, drinks, or sweets that the child usually gets on a daily basis during the pre-school time. However, families sometimes offer sweets, toys, and others as a reward to the child for doing something good, or deprives him / her of them as a kind of punishment for doing something bad or failing to commit to the rules – with the aim of teaching children the foundations of the proper behaviors required of them.

After the child becomes four years old, the average age when children go to preschool and then school, he / she begins to receive a daily pocket money, until he reaches the age of nine or ten years, where parents start to give him a weekly pocket money.

Some education experts believe that it is not beneficial for parents to give pocket money to a child under six. However, with the beginning of the second semester of his / her first year in school, the child may be able to count and calculate, and then he can be given pocket money, as this gives him a sense of self-confidence, as he is seen as older and more responsible.

Giving pocket money to the child should be on a gradual basis, that is he / she can get pocket money once a week, then twice, and so on. Also, the amount of pocket money should be appropriate for the age stage of the child, as parents should not dump him / her with money. They should take into mind that their little son / daughter is only a child, and he / she may not be able to act wisely in that regard, especially that mothers usually give their children all the food and drink they may need at school.

It is important that parents give their children pocket money according to their financial capabilities and also according to the child's needs. For example, the amount of his pocket money to be given to a young child in the primary stage that has limited needs cannot be the same as that amount to be given to an intermediate-school pupil that has more needs. Meanwhile, parents should allocate an additional budget for a high school student (teenager) to buy clothes and go for walks with his / her friends, as parents are never supposed to choose the clothes of their children at that age, where the child is the one responsible for choosing and buying any clothes he / she wants at such age.

It is also normal that the amount of money given to children (whether as pocket money or others) shall differ from one to another according to their age; as it is not possible to give a six-year-old child the same amount of pocket money that you give to an eleven-year-old child.

It is also important for the parents to accustom their children to being keen on not spending their pocket money lavishly, and to advise them to save part of it to use in the purchase of some of their special needs or their favorable toys. In this way, the child feels and realizes the significance of saving money partly for buying whatever he / she dreams of. Accordingly, children get used to the virtue of perseverance in order to achieve their goals; and instead of spending all their  pocket money on less important things, they can save part of it to buy more important, durable, and valuable things, which gives them pleasure and boosts their feeling of responsibility. Also, parents can ask the child from time to time to donate part of his / her savings to contribute to solving some problems (not necessarily real problems), provided that parents they assure him / her that donation is a good act and that the amount of money that he / she donated was very important in solving the problem, so that the child realizes the value and significance of donating part of his / her pocket money, or even only effort, for helping others, which will be later reflected on his personality when he grows up.

Snippet: For decades, pocket money has been a rooted family habit all over the world. Parents routinely give their children pocket money, without realizing that such act contributes to shaping the child's personality in one way or another.

 

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